Gov. Pat Quinn is urging legislators to stand with families and communities and take action against gun violence.
The governor is pushing passage of the Illinois Public Safety Act, legislation that would ban the sale or delivery of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois and require background checks for the transfer of guns.
“Public safety is government's foremost mission and Illinois should not wait any longer to act,” Quinn said. “There are too many victims of a war being waged on our streets, a war fueled in part by the availability of deadly, military-style assault weapons that have no purpose other than killing.
“We must work together to protect the lives of those we love and stop what's happening in our communities. I urge the Illinois General Assembly to take a stand and pass this legislation that will save lives and protect communities."
Senate Bill 3659 – the Illinois Public Safety Act – was introduced during the recent spring Legislative session by State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and supported by Quinn. It bans the possession, delivery, sale and purchase of assault weapons, large-capacity ammunition feeding devices such as magazines or clips, and .50-caliber rifles and cartridges in Illinois. Valid Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) holders who possess any of these devices at the time the law is enacted would be allowed to keep them, but could not transfer or sell them except to a family member. The legislation also requires background checks for the transfer of firearms except to a family member or at a gun show.
A review of mass shootings between January 2009 and January 2013 by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that incidents where assault weapons or large-capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 135 percent more people shot and 57 percent more killed, compared to other mass shootings.
Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. In addition, Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons.